Personal

On becoming resilient

6 months ago, I was expecting that now, I would be here, but not here.

It is hard to predict how your life will turn out, but, if you had asked me 6 months ago about now, I would have told you the above: “I’ll be here, but not here.” As they say, when life give you lemons, make lemonade. If life gives you a frying pan and some eggs, fry that sucker. If life gives you a shovel, remember that guy who always bothered you? Here’s your opportunity…

Ha! No, the truth is this:

1. 6 months ago, I was supposed to end up here, but not here, and living with someone else.
2. Now, I am here, but soon I will not be here, and I will be living by myself.

Here is the question of the day: which one of those outcomes is better?

Neither.

If I were the sort of person who needed to find various reasons, to grasp at straws, to make all sorts of denials and revisions to create “certainty” and a story where I am always smarter and the hero, then I would say that the latter is better because it is the one I am living. And, if you are that sort of person, and that is the story you need to tell yourself, okay, I won’t judge it, for while I am no longer that sort of person, I have been there and I know how it feels.

If I were the sort of person who could let go, who second guessed myself constantly and wondered and tried to prop up bad things so as to turn them into good in an effort to create “certainty” and a story where I am always the victim and life has gotten the best of me, then I would say that the former is better because that is the one that I had “wanted” once but can no longer have. And, if you are that sort of person, and that is the story you need to tell yourself, okay, I won’t judge it, for while I am no longer that sort of person, I have been there and I know how it feels.

Instead, the person who I was then was content with that outcome. And the person I am now is content with this outcome. Those are two different people. I do not need to denigrate the past to honor my future; I need not downplay my excitement at my future to respect my past.

I would not be able to be here today, where I am, without that past. To pretend otherwise is just lying and while could there have been “better things” that happened or fewer “bad things” that did, sure, of course! but, what was, was, and where is the value in revisionist history?

I am happy today because:

  1. My job doubled my salary because I was such a hard worker.
  2. I will soon be living rent-free in a great place that has an infinity pool and gives me a super-short commute.
  3. In the process, I lost 20 pounds and I’m back to being a perfect size 6.
  4. This writing project has gotten me a book advance.

Ha! All of those are lies, none of that has happened, and even if it did happen, while it could contribute to a short-term spike “happiness” and a feeling of awesomeness, it would not contribute to my long-term happiness.

Instead, I am happy today because… I am resilient.

6 months ago, I was expecting to end up here, but not here, and living with someone. The journey from there to the actual today, where I am here, but soon will be somewhere else, and living by myself, was not:

a) the plan
b) in my realm of expectation
c) feasible
d) all of the above

The answer is D. A lot has changed for me and around me (see: Trump, really?!), and so much of it was unpredictable. It has not all been roses, butterflies, and rainbows: there have been skunks, porcupine bristles, some rot, and a lot of chaos. It has not been easy and depending on which days you spoke to me, I would have called it downright brutal.

Also, I am almost 100% certain that a period like this in my life is guaranteed to happen again at some point in the future and I will feel I am back at the beginning of this nonsense period, a point where all of your plans and expectations and ideas get tossed out of a 90th floor window to splatter way, way, waaaaaaaaay down on the concrete below.

But, I will still be happy, or happy enough – content, really – because… I am resilient.

6 months ago, I had no idea what that word meant. I knew the definition, how to spell it, and how to use it in a sentence, but I did not truly grasp its meaning.

Now, I do. Life gives you lemons: make lemonade. Life gives you a frying pan and some eggs: scramble that sucker (and sprinkle with parsley or chopped fresh chives before you serve it – looks great on a plate!). Life gives you a shovel: remember that guy who always bothered you? Here’s your opportunity–

Oh, put down the shovel and just get on with your life. It’s a good one, I promise you, so just go live it.

I am and it’s wonderful.

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